Just as plant communities have a constant flux of disturbance, loss and resilience, so too has the biology department at Goshen College experienced change in recent months.

Neil Detweiler, associate professor of biology, is leaving GC after leading Study-Service Term in Senegal in the summer of 2024.

Ryan Sensenig, a former biology professor, also left GC last summer to take a position at Notre Dame. Detweiler did not respond to a request for comment, and Sensenig declined to comment for this article.

Jody Saylor, chair of biological sciences and director of faculty development and academic innovation, announced that “Dr. [Neil] Detweiler and his family are moving to Virginia to be close to his wife’s family as they raise their children.” Detweiler has been a part of the department since July 2018, teaching a variety of classes and studying bovine pulmonary physiology.

“We will all miss Neil and are grateful for his amazing work in the department,” Saylor said. “We will be moving forward now with a search for a new person to join our department beginning next fall.” She encouraged students and faculty to “please know that change is normal and that the department must continue to grow and evolve in new ways.”

Raquel Montañez González, assistant professor of biology, came to GC in the fall of 2022. 

She explained that during the past two years, she had to learn quickly and asked a lot of questions during her first year of teaching. 

Phillip Allman is a new associate professor of marine biology this year, stationed at the marine biology center in Florida, and Montañez González reached out to him as he started. She realized that “he’s going through the same things I did my first year, but … alone.” She said, “Hey, Phil, any of those little [first-year] questions you [have] … you can ask me.”

Montañez González hopes that this “might be an opportunity for new professors, [research for undergraduates, and] an opportunity to change things if change is wanted. … We have to be okay with changing” and adapting, she said, “especially if you are a biologist.”